Nine Years

Dear Readers: I’m sorry I haven’t posted recently. There’s been a lot going on, but it’s nothing I particularly needed to share (and I’ve also been really lazy). I’m happy to say that I’ve survived the winter without falling into depression, and that it’s almost silly season and there’s no hint of mania either. Huzzah!

What brings me here today is that March 7 marks nine years since I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I look back and I’m amazed at the changes that have taken place since then. What was once murky and ill-defined is now clear as a bell; my life makes sense now, even as I face situations over which I have absolutely NO control. I’ve learned that bipolar doesn’t have to manifest itself when I’m stressed out, and I won’t let myself blame it for everything that goes sideways in my life. I take my meds faithfully and no longer complain about having to take so many. It doesn’t matter if I take 1 pill or 20, I do what I have to in order to maintain my stability. I also listen to my doctor and stay up-to-date on current trends within the bipolar community.

Speaking of my psychiatrist, I got to read my notes from the last visit in my online chart, and boy, was that an experience! I have to admit, though, that the very first time in my life that I have truly felt ancient was when I read the intro: “MJL is a 62-year-old widowed white female, a retired nurse.”

Holy crap. I mean, that makes me sound like I’m just a couple of steps from the threshold of the nursing home. I’ve joked about it for years, but I never truly thought of myself as being, well, old. I turned 62 a couple of months ago, which makes me eligible for Social Security (if I weren’t already on it) and a whole bunch of cool senior discounts. It’s funny, I definitely don’t think of myself as middle-aged anymore, but technically I’m not yet elderly, so where do I fit in?

I guess it depends on who you ask. Just like with the diagnosis Dr. Y put in my record: bipolar affective disorder, manic, in full remission. I wonder what that means, exactly? Is it still bipolar 1, or is it something more nebulous? I’ll have to ask at my next visit. For years I’ve been a solid 1, and I’d just as soon not have any ambiguity; I’ve gotten used to the designation and actually don’t mind it anymore. We’ll see what Dr. Y says next week, anyway.

Once again, I want to apologize for my three-month absence from this blog. I’ve never gone anywhere near this long without posting something, and I really don’t have a good reason for it. I’m thankful for you, my readers, and I salute you for coming back after this long dry spell. And while I hope it never happens again, I also hope you’ll bear with me if it does. Welcome back!

Published by bpnurse

I'm a retired registered nurse and writer who also happens to be street-rat crazy, if the DSM-IV.....oops, 5---is to be believed. I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder at the age of 55, and am still sorting through the ashes of the flaming garbage pile that my life had become. Here, I'll share the lumps and bumps of a late-life journey toward sanity.... along with some rants, gripes, sour grapes and good old-fashioned whining from time to time. It's not easy being bipolar in a unipolar world; let's figure it out together.

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